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Another former MTI convicted, discharged

Apr. 26, 2013 - 01:21PM   |  
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The most recent former military training instructor to stand trial in a sexual misconduct scandal at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, was sentenced Thursday to five months in jail and a bad conduct discharge.

Staff Sgt. Robert Hudson pleaded guilty to having sex with a female basic trainee, adultery, maltreating male basic trainees, making a false official statement and obstruction of justice.

Hudson, who is married and has two children, began a relationship with a basic trainee in a “sister flight” in July 2011. The relationship continued while the woman was in technical training, said Brent Boller, a Lackland spokesman.

In September, Hudson dumped undiluted bleach in a bathroom he said reeked of urine and ordered male trainees under his command to clean it up. Some of the trainees coughed and complained of breathing problems, Boller said, and another passed out. Hudson accused them of faking their symptoms and ordered them back in. One trainee was diagnosed with an eye hemorrhage the next day as a result of the exposure.

Hudson apologized for his actions in a tearful statement to military judge Col. Donald Eller, Boller said. Hudson said he felt he had put a “black eye” on the Air Force and the MTI corps and had let his family down. He pleaded with Eller to spare him a bad conduct discharge.

The judge deliberated for about an hour and 40 minutes before announcing the sentence, Boller said. In addition to the jail time and discharge, Hudson was reduced to E-2.

Hudson was the 18th former MTI to face court-martial since the basic training scandal first unraveled at Lackland in the summer of 2011. Seventeen have ended in convictions on some or all charges. A case against Tech. Sgt. Samuel Wicks, accused of indecent conduct and non-physical relationships with technical trainees, was dismissed when a judge ruled evidence was improperly obtained.

Hudson was the sixth instructor sentenced to a discharge.

Another ex-MTI convicted by a jury one day earlier on 31 counts of cruelty, abuse, wrongful sexual contact and other charges related to the treatment of trainees was reduced just one rank and allowed to stay in the Air Force, outraging victims’ advocates. Former Tech. Sgt. Bobby Bass physically assaulted male trainees and ordered them to put Icy Hot muscle cream on their genitals; to exercise in their underwear; to crowd into a shower naked with dozens of other trainees.

The first female MTI named in the scandal will go to court-martial May 1. Staff Sgt. Emily Allen is accused of having an unprofessional relationship.

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